MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A 72-year-old Wyoming man completed his 3,872-mile transcontinental bicycle ride in Myrtle Beach on Monday, May 1.
Jerry Fussell began his trip in the Pacific Ocean near Florence, Oregon, and ended the journey by dipping his bike tire in the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach at about 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Watch our Facebook Live stream of Jerry’s arrival at the Atlantic Ocean here:
While it’s been a solo trip, Jerry’s wife Lori, who is a pilot like him, has been flying a small plane and meeting him every few days to provide support for his journey.
His journey has taken him across 11 states and nine mountain ranges.
So why did Jerry decide to make this trip?
“I’d run out of things on my bucket list and my theory is if you have nothing (you’re) looking forward to or working hard at, it’ll take you out,” he said.
Fussell said he’s owned a bike since he can remember, but training for a cross country trip at 72 years old was a totally different experience.
He broke it up into four different sections, traveling about a quarter of the distance each time.
The last trip took three months, averaging about 50 miles each day. Sometimes, he would go as fast as 12 miles per hour.
Fussell said the physical preparation was one thing, but getting in the right mindset for a transcontinental trip was another.
“No matter how much you train, it’s hard to get your mental space right for doing it day after day, after day, rain, shine, ice, snow,” he said. “Anything that comes your way, you just do it.”
After traveling through Pageville, Hartsville and Lake City over the weekend, Fussell biked the last 68-mile leg of the trip from Lake City, down S.C. 544 from Conway, then on U.S. 17 Business, and ended at Myrtle Beach State Park. He faced significant headwind for the last 20 miles.
At the end of his journey, Fussell gave thanks to his wife for seeing him through.
“Her encouragement and inspiration and help on this trip, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it without it (her),” he said.
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